There are a few kinds of loans available for undergraduate students. Most students take out loans to study abroad. If this is the first time you're taking out a loan, don't worry that O.K. It's actually great, hopefully this will be the first and last time you have to take out a loan in your college career. The following definitions come from the U.S. Department of Education, which provides many of the loans listed below. Their website contains more information about the pros and cons of each kind of loan.
Subsidized Federal Loan
A loan based on financial need for which the federal government pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school, grace, or deferment status.
Unsubsidized Federal Loan
A loan for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement and continues throughout the life of the loan.
Federal Perkins Loan
A federal student loan, made by the recipient's school, for undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate financial need.
These loans are nonfederal loans, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or a school.
Federal PLUS Loan
PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses.
Your UF financial aid adviser can provide you with more information about student loans and necessary paperwork and loan counseling which must be completed prior to disbursement. You can look up your financial aid adviser through the UF Student Financial Affairs website.